Touring car racing has never been as popular in the United States as it has been overseas. After all, it's NASCAR that garners the lion's share of attention when it comes to tin-top racing in America. For the last couple of years, however, the World Touring Car Championship has held a race at Sonoma Raceway in California, but that race has now been dropped from the calendar for this year.
Here's the problem with selling corporate naming rights to sports facilities: When times are good and sponsors are interested, they're more than happy to make it rain. When priorities change, however, the money gets withdrawn and all that's left is that company's stupid logo, plastered all over the signage.
The first race of the 2012 TTXGP electric motorcycle racing series gets underway this weekend at Infineon Raceway. Along with the original open and TTX75 classes, the organization has added an eSuperstock category that should open the door to more participation.
If we've said it once, we've said it a thousand times, but it warrants repeating – in context especially – that there exists an ocean of difference between stock car racing in America and touring cars overseas. And we're talking about more than geography here. The cars are different, the tracks are different, the drivers, the fans... and so too is the racing. But the two are about to take one step closer when two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekström takes on NASCAR.
Without a doubt, modern expectations for automotive performance, safety, and comfort are pushing "intelligence" throughout the vehicle, with microcontrollers showing up in a variety of devices that draw together chassis control, driver assistance, and risk management. At the SAE Convergence electronics show, Patrick Leteinturier from Infineon talked about the trends that we might expect for these tiny semiconductor brains.